It needed much coaxing, cajoling and finally outright threats—of the "no single malt and no kebabs" variety—to get my father to agree to a cardiac check-up at AIIMS (All India Institute of...
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This story is about Layla, a Great Dane. She wasn't just a dog who was rescued by Friendicoes and adopted by me five years ago. She and I, in the words of the beautiful Jim Morrison, were "Riders on t...
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My charmingly laidback home state of Odisha has been, of late, become witness to flurried activity. Hardly has the alarmingly passionate debate (euphemism for trading of insults) over the origins of the roshogolla with our worthy Bengali neighbours cooled down, and we are stuck with the acute housing problems of our Lord Jagannath. There you go! Housing woes affect the divine too!
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Growing up in the 1970s as a film buff, I watched Bollywood's favourite "Maa", Nirupa Roy, cry endlessly, sacrifice endlessly and dote on her son endlessly. She would invariably be dressed in a crumpled white sari with a huge sindoor tikka on her forehead. That I guess was the symbolic patriarchal take on the ideal mother and motherhood. I would then return home to a very un-"Maa"-like mother.
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That awful empty feeling haunts me once again. I lost my English bulldog, Jigar ka Tukda, this month. She was adopted by me six years ago from Friendicoes and named after the Janis Joplin number, ''Piece of My Heart".
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The cow, the trans community and the state of Bihar have been much in the national news of late. This is a tale of all three. It took place in the most religious month of the Hindu calendar, <em>Magha</em>, in the holy town of Puri in Odisha. This is a story that questions <em>"hypocrisy and double standards, gracelessness toward 'sinners', high-minded judgmentalism, and not being pure in heart..."</em>
I recently discovered that Gulzar <em>saheb</em>'s actual name is Sampooran Singh Kalra. I flinched a little. The name "Gulzar", which means "garden", tied into his general poetic appeal for me - his rather common real name did eclipse his magic a little bit. After all, I have a Kalra<em>ji</em> as my neighbour and he has a hugely successful auto parts shop in Karol Bagh! Many would argue, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I tend to disagree.
I am ashamed to confess that I have played my part in encouraging the sarcastic jibes and oh-so-funny memes that followed the Arvind Kejriwal government's decision to control vehicular pollution by enforcing a rule in which vehicles with odd and even numbers must ply on alternate days. However, soon, the wisdom and truth of George Carlin's statement, "The planet is fine. The people are f****d," dawned on me.
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He rarely left his room, drinking throughout the night. Yet he would be cold sober and sharp during the day, reading relentlessly and listening to Led Zeppelin on his gramophone. He would smile and say that he would leave his books to me. I cherish the beautiful ramblings of his poetry and prose he scribbled on loose sheets of paper, now yellowed and frayed, but the fountain pen ink, surprisingly, still not faded. As if his blood still flows brightly and restlessly in the words.
It was <em>bhujiya</em> that sustained me and my friends when we were students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and helped us survive the terrible mass-produced slop served in the hostel mess. We'd sprinkle it liberally over the staple rice and <em>dal</em>, though the vegetable curry was essentially irredeemable and tasted like what a friend of mine called "cat crap".
The decision to cast an older actress as Bond girl, to my mind, is almost a paradigm shift. It shows an attempt at deliberate and conscious inclusiveness of women who stand outside of our society's definition of "acceptable". Just as the pivotal character of M could be a woman, so can a 50-year-old woman seduce a perpetually 40-ish James Bond.
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My name is Layla and I am a four-year-old Great Dane girl. I wanted to thank you for urging everybody to say no to firecrackers this Diwali. They hurt my ears a lot. You all are superheroes for me definitely. Yay!
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Perhaps, it is a tad overambitious, or even delusional, on my part to drag Milan Kundera into this. But in his latest novel, <em>The Festival Of Insignificance</em>, Kundera suggests that insignificance is "the essence of existence". Much like Diwali of today, where we seem to celebrate the insignificant and lose ourselves in the trivial. I seemed to look deep down into Kundera's soul and grasp the reality of "festivity" that lies at the heart of insignificance and despair. It is a call to restore that unbearable lightness of our beings.
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Helen made me understand that one needs to dance with joy and abandon. She also taught me that a woman needs to set her own individual style, both in dressing as well as attitude. In a strange way, she also was instrumental in inculcating a sense of glorious pride in my femininity, buttressed by the ability to say "go to hell" to both men and women who equated the feminine with inequality, submissiveness, weakness and frivolousness.
The term "soul mate" is often understood in a very limited context. It is nearly always linked to one's lover or partner or spouse. So we have these endless quotes, thoughts, theories, advice on one's soul mate, all in the romantic realm. I have this weird theory. To me, the man I love can never really be my soul mate...
I spotted this little rabbit, sitting all alone on the sofa in the living room, nonchalantly eating an apple with a very arrogant expression. Much like intellectual disdain over his lesser rabbit brethren. He looked different too. You know, like not "normal". This I soon realised was because he had only one ear. His right ear was completely missing. It was a birth defect.
My Facebook friend suggestions also included the most essential people in my life and mobile: ( a) my household help, Sandhya Kumari,( b) my local<em> momo wala,</em> Danny Lepcha, (c) my cook, Joy Biswas, ( d) my neighbourhood street-food chap specialising in masala boiled eggs and omelettes, Babloo Kumar and (e) my man Friday, Brijnath Yadav.
He was the son of the police barrack's <em>dhobi </em>, a couple of years older than me and my best buddy. Why? Because he treated me at par with the guys and called me <em>"choto babu</em>" (i.e. "Little Master", if literally translated from Oriya) and not "<em>choto didi</em>", as girls are normally addressed, mind you!
The new cook walked into the living room with my coffee at around 9.30 this morning. Suddenly, I heard a ferocious howl. Bruce Wayne, my little black miniature pug boy, jumped off the sofa and charged at him. It was a hilarious sight because the new cook is a 6ft 2″ swashbuckling fellow from Chennai. The cook ran for his life. And I teared up.